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RETENTION: PUBLIC SECTOR SAYS ACTION NEEDED TO CLOSE TALENT GAP

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NEW STUDY REVEALS SHORTAGE OF TALENT ACROSS PUBLIC SECTOR...
NEW STUDY REVEALS SHORTAGE OF TALENT ACROSS PUBLIC SECTOR

A study into the public sector's ability to attract, retain and manage talent has been published.

The survey, from leadership and executive recruitment consultancy, Veredus, and the Society of Chief Personnel Officers, reveals that:

* Organisations across the UK public and private sectors are struggling to attract, retain, develop and manage talented staff

* The challenge is being felt particularly in the public sector

* The public sector lacks talent at director, management and specialist level

* Identifying and developing talent is broadly left to 'gut feel' across the public sector

* Local government and the health sector face the greatest talent challenges

The study, 'Talent Management: Creating the Capacity to Perform', surveyed over 1500 leaders, including over 900 the public sector.

Talent Management: Creating the Capacity to Perform

Executive Summary: Key Public Sector Findings

Headline findings are below.

The Talent Gap

* 55% of public sector leaders believe their organisation does not have enough talented people in senior management.

* 58% of Central Government leaders identify a talent shortage at senior management level.

Attraction, Retention and Development: The Talent Challenge

* 48% of public sector organisations identified an inability to attract talent at director level.

* 54% say they struggle to attract talent at management level.

* 62% believe that their organisation does not develop enough talent of its own.

* 57% of public sector respondents state that their organisation is unable to attract specialist talent.

Talent Management: The 'Gut Feel' Approach

* 68% of public sector managers confess that they rely on gut feel to identify star performers.

* 80% of public sector leaders state that their organisation does not put enough time and energy into managing talent.

* 83% say their organisation has no talent attraction plan; 76% have no retention plan.

* Just 13% of public sector organisations claim to have in place systems to fast-track talent.

Local Government

* 61% of Local Government leaders feel that their organisation cannot attract enough talent at management level.

* 72% are unable to attract specialists.

* 68% say that their organisation does not develop enough talent of its own.

* 86% believe that their organisation does not put enough time and energy into managing talent.

* Just 9% have a succession management process in place.

Health

* 73% of health sector respondents leave talent to 'gut feel'.

* 67% of health sector leaders believe their organisation does not develop enough talent of its own.

* Only 9% have a fast-track system to identify and develop talent.

'Act on talent management now or fail in the future', is the strong message coming out of a new study by leadership and executive recruitment consultancy, Veredus, and the Society of Chief Personnel Officers (SOCPO).

The study, 'Talent Management: Creating the Capacity to Perform', surveyed over 1500 leaders in both the public and private sectors. The research reveals that nearly half of public sector organisations say they are struggling to attract talent at director level (48%), a proportion which rises to over half (54%) at management level. Their private sector counterparts reported lower talent gaps at the same levels (44% and 43% respectively).

The research also highlights a lack of procedures for managing talent. 68% of public sector and 67% of private sector managers confess that they rely on gut feel to identify star performers. 83% of public sector leaders say their organisation has no specific talent attraction plan, compared with 61% of private sector leaders. Only 13% of public sector organisations have systems to fast-track talent, compared to 23% in the private sector.

Leaders in the local government and health sectors face the toughest talent management challenges, with the highest proportions of leaders expressing concerns about their organisation's ability to attract, develop and retain talent. 68% of local government leaders and 67% of health leaders in the survey said that their organisations do not develop enough talent of their own.

Patrick McHale, director, Veredus, said: 'Everybody knows that people make the biggest difference between successful and failing organisations. Yet our research shows that public sector leaders know that they need to do better in finding and nurturing the talent crucial to sustained success. Identifying, attracting and developing talent must be at the top of the agenda for public sector leaders in 2006.'

Alan Warner, SOCPO lead officer for talent management, said: 'This report is a call to action. Talented people are the life blood of successful organisations. If we don't ensure that we recruit, retain and develop the best people, we will struggle in the future. Talent management is central to achieving this.'

Note

Research Methodology

The study, conducted by Veredus, surveyed 1533 public and private sector leaders and senior managers between November 2005 and January 2006.

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